Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Maathai discusses the state of African democracy, human rights, conflict, and environmental issues at the outset of the 21st century. The first East African woman to receive a PhD, Maathai has survived beatings, imprisonment, and assassination attempts in her struggle to bring democracy, gender equality, and environmental justice to Kenya. Despite the obstacles she has faced, Maathai remains optimistic in this 92nd Street Y interview with National Geographic editor-in-chief Chris Johns. The activist and politician reflects on her continued work with the Green Belt Movement, which has hired Kenyan women to plant trees and protect the country’s forests for over 30 years. Maathai also suggests means by which African countries can advance democracy, end tribal "micro-conflicts", and promote gender equality.
This event took place on September 14, 2005.